Vettel takes Canadian GP pole with lap record

11 June, 2018, 00:59 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Canadian Grand Prix - Strategy guide

Ferrari team-mate Vettel went on to secure pole position, his fourth of the season.

Fernando Alonso would have hoped to make Q3 in his 300th Grand Prix weekend, but he had to settle for P14 after finishing Q2 more than a second off the pace.

Hamilton had gone into the meeting in Montreal with a 14-point advantage but leaves one point behind Vettel, a vast swing he would not have anticipated from one of his favourite circuits.

Four-time world champion Hamilton has had six poles and six wins overall in Canada and arrived seeking a record-equalling seventh victory.

His latest practice crash in Monaco put Verstappen at the back of the grid, and left him facing calls from Red Bull team boss Christian Horner to rethink his approach.

The title race remains finely balanced but Ferrari will take great encouragement from victory at a circuit where Mercedes have been dominant, with Hamilton taking pole and winning for the last three years in Montreal.

The Ferrari driver set a track record with a time of one minute, 10.764 seconds, ahead of Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Both took heavy damage in the contact and careened across Turn 6 and into the far barriers, where both their races ended.

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"The auto was incredible in qualifying and it just kept getting quicker", said Vettel, whose Ferrari team were using new engines.

It was a strong result for Bottas, who made himself the leading Mercedes driver for the weekend thanks to his better feeling for Pirelli's softest tires, but he lamented that his vehicle didn't have the pace to challenge for more. "I think we need a little bit more time to get everything together and then we'll see where we are".

"Pole position is always important", said Vettel.

It meant Hamilton lost a place to Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo at his stop, and the Briton had a nervy moment when Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen emerged alongside him after his much later stop.

"It didn't really develop, it didn't get much quicker and it was just a hard session", he signed.

"We were briefly talking about what we wanted to do, trying to figure everything out".

"I think when we look back on this weekend we will accept the fact that, yeah, in hindsight, it would have been nice if we had more time to prepare on the hyper-soft, but it wasn't the case", he told reporters.

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